10 Questions Your Campaign Plan Should Address

campaign plan

10 Questions Your Campaign Plan Should Answer

It is campaign plan time. If you are running a campaign start writing a  plan now. Here are our tips on 10 questions a political campaign plan should answer.

10. Do I have a winning strategy?

When you write a campaign plan, run to win – don't run not to lose. Take some bold stances and calculated risks. If you spend time being constantly worried if you are saying the right thing, you are not being bold enough, If you are don't have a strong, bold strategy you may not have a winning campaign plan.

9. Am I raising enough money?

The lowest price car on the lot is usually not the right fit. It has too few doors, not enough seats, and is usually not built to last.  The same can be said for the lowest campaign plan budget. You cannot win with a campaign plan that is built on the lowest budget. Rather, your budget should be built around the budget that gets you to a win and that may not be a low budget campaign plan at all.

8. Am I spending my money on the right things?

The best campaigns are the most financially disciplined campaigns. They have the focus and understanding to know that they can only spend money on a few things. They also only spend money on defining why voters should vote for them and not their opponent.  The worst campaigns waste money on things that don't communicate a contrastive message.

7. Am I hiring the right staff and consultants, and creating the right roles?

Politics is a team sport – you cannot win without the right players, so think long and hard about who is on the team and whether they can help you.  You should also think about whether your campaign has a solid structure and if the right roles exist. If the roles are not written and clearly defined in the campaign plan, you will also have problems.

6. Do I have a vote goal?

How many votes do I need to win and where will those votes come from? You need to be able to answer this question in your campaign plan. If you can't, or if it is in your head and not written down, you’re in big trouble.

5. Do I know who my voters are?

You must know which voters make up your vote goal, and who makes up your winning coalition, again write it down in the campaign plan.  You want it to be a blueprint for what other folks need to do to carry out your winning strategy.

4. Does my strategy connect with the right voters?

What you talk about in your campaign must connect you in a clear way with the audience you need to move.

3. Is my message contrastive enough?

Folks need to know the difference between you and your opponent.  If you can't articulate that difference in six words, keep working until you can. Using a message box is a simple tool but can really make a difference here...

2. Is this the right race for me?

Before you put everyone through a campaign, make sure you can win. If you can't win the race, do not run.  Much as we’d like to think that running a losing race will help you the next time around, it won’t.

1. Are the right people on board my campaign? Have they bought into my plan?

Beyond paid staff and consultants, make sure your friends and family, issue groups, business leaders, unions, etc., are on board.  You must build a real coalition of the right people in order to win. You also need to articulate the coalition's role in your campaign plan to your team. If folks don't know where they fit in your campaign plan it is hard for them to help.

We know that building a winning campaign plan is not easy but winning campaigns take the time to develop a winning campaign plan and strategy.  We hope these questions are a good starting point to developing a winning campaign plan. If you have questions about writing a campaign plan ask them here:

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